Benue massacre: Akume keeps mum as Mark spits fire 

OrderPaperToday – Constituents of Benue North-West Senatorial District have raised concerns about the mute posture of their representative in the National Assembly, Sen. George Akume, on the massacre of scores of innocent lives by suspected Fulani herdsmen on January 1-2 this year.

This is as the immediate past President of the Senate and member representing Benue South, Senator David Mark, expressed condemnation of the current killings and called for urgent and strategic approach to halt further tragedies.

Findings by OrderPaperNG in Benue showed that citizens are miffed that Akume who has never spoken on the several herdsmen killings in Benue in the past, has remained silent in the face of the current crisis unfolded in his constituency.

Several angry constituents contacted OrderPaperNG to express immense sadness and displeasure that Akume has failed to pull his weight as a ranking senator, senior member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and former governor of the state to “intervene and save the people who voted into office from mindless killings.”

Several attempts to get reactions from the senator proved abortive. He did not respond to the text message and telephone calls placed to him.

Akume is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army and has been in the Senate since 2007 after he ended his constitutionally allowed two terms as governor of Benue State.

About 50 persons including children and women have been reported slaughtered by suspected herdsmen on new at the start of the new year in Guma local government area of Benue State. This is in addition to the Agatu killings that attracted global outrage in 2016, among other pockets of herdsmen crisis in Benue.

On Wednesday, thousands of citizens in the state poured into the streets to protest this latest killings, blockading major roads that lead in and out of the state. The protesters called on President Muhammadu Buhari to act decisively on the matter.

But speaking on the current killings, Senator Mark said “this pogrom is reprehensible, barbaric and inhuman” in a statement released by his media assistant, Paul Mummeh on Wednesday.

According to Mark, “no matter the anger in a man’s mind, resorting to violence or taking another person’s life can only aggravate the situation. There are enough channels of mediation including the courts and the legislature to address perceived or alleged misdemeanor.

“Nobody has a right to take another man’s life needlessly. The law must take its course and perpetrators must not go unpunished. This lawlessness must not continue. Security operatives must do the needful to fish out the perpetrators. Nigeria is a nation governed by law. Every citizen is a stake holder and everyone has a right to life. Our governments must stand up for the people. Enough of this malady. We deserve to live in peace in our fatherland.”

 

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